Sculpture in the City, 1st Edition

Annual Public Art Exhibition
Commissioned by City of London Corporation
Delivered with Lacuna since 2011

Opened June 2011
On view until Spring 2012

Sculpture in the City, 1st Edition. © and Courtesy City of London Corporation. Video © Ubban Experiments.

The Brief

Following a forward thinking City of London Planning department consultation with local stakeholders in the City Cluster area, there was an expressed desire to bring contemporary sculpture into the area as an experiment. Lacuna was brought on board to see how this could be done and following a short eight-month consultation period, Lacuna delivered four major artworks around the Hiscox and Aviva buildings, who alongside British Land, were supporting the project.

The project was launched under the name, Great St Helen's and Undershaft Public Art Space. The 1st Edition presented artworks by four modern and contemporary British artists. The project was well received by the public and City stakeholders.

"It is wonderful for all of us at Hiscox and the many passers-by to have our hearts lifted by the sculptures around our office. I have longed for a sculpture park in the area for the 46 years I have been in the City and now we have one, and an inspiration it is. congratulate the team at the City for making it happen."

Robert Hiscox, Chairman, Hiscox


01. Julian Opie

Three Men Walking, 2008
LED installation, 205 x 135 x 135 cm

Three Men Walking is a sculpture made up of LEDs that echoes the cityscape and imagery of street signage in the area. The artist, who has his studio locally, was involved in the siting of the piece on the corner of St Mary Axe and Undershaft, next to the Gherkin, a busy thoroughfare for workers and visitors.

Location: Undershaft at the junction with St Mary Axe, London EC3A

Julian Opie, Three Men Walking, 2008. © and Courtesy The Artist & Lisson Gallery. Install view SITC 1st ed, 2011–2012. Photo SITC.

02. Kenneth Armitage

Screen with Folded Arms, 1967
Timber shed, fluorescent lights and fittings, bitumen, paint, steel, dimensions vary

Kenneth Armitage used the human body as a basis for his sculptures. He pictured this sculpture in an urban environment with its ‘two massive, heavy, rounded arms coming out of the wall, as though the building behind was the body of the person, with its folded arms sticking out in front.’ The work became a very popular photo opportunity whilst on display.

Location: 1 Great St Helens, London EC3A

Kenneth Armitage, Screen with Folded Arms, 1967. © The Artist. Install view SITC 1st ed, 2011–2012. Photo SITC.

03. Franz West

Garden Pouf, 2010
Lacquered aluminium
Dimensions vary

Franz West invited the public not only to view his art but also to physically engage with it. As the title Garden Pouf suggests, the artist intended for this fun sculpture to be treated as a functional piece of art. Installed on Undershaft in front of Hiscox and St Helen’s Church, the piece received a lot of attention from children and visitors. Franz West has exhibited internationally for more than three decades in galleries, museums and major festivals.

Location: 1 Great St Helens, London EC3A

Franz West, Garden Pouf, 2010. © The Artist and Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Install view SITC 1st ed, 2011–2012. Photo SITC.

04. Anish Kapoor

Sky Mirror, 2010
Polished strainless steel
Dimensions vary

Sky Mirror (2010) consists of a concave dish of polished stainless steel angled up towards the sky. Its reflective surface captures the ever-changing environment, creating interaction between the viewer and the object. It was sited in the largest open space in the area and the third largest public space in the City of London.

Location: St Helen's Square, London EC3V 4QT

Anish Kapoor, Sky Mirror, 2010. © The Artist and Courtesy The Artist & Lisson Gallery. Install view SITC 1sted, 2011–2012. Photo SITC.

"This [Sculpture in the City] is a fantastic example of how artworks can enliven public spaces, encouraging people to engage with the built environment. British Land is delighted to be working with our neighbours in the City of London, particularly to support the involvement of young people in the project."

Adrian Penfold, Head of Planning and Corporate Responsibility, British Land

Public Programmes

Community Events

'The Take a Closer Look Programme' schools workshops and community events, which took place in June and July 2011, celebrated the launch of the City of London’s Great St Helen's & Undershaft sculpture park. All events were free, open to all, and designed to animate the area to celebrate the recently installed artworks. The programme involved local businesses, schools and residents. It was delivered as part of the City of London Festival in partnership with The Big Draw.

began in 1962 and each summer it brings the City’s buildings and outdoor spaces to life with a community engagement programme of music, visual arts, film, walks and talks; attracting over 60,000 people annually. Free public events take place within the ancient livery halls and churches, in the squares, gardens and open spaces of the Square Mile.

THE BIG DRAW is an annual month-long festival of over 1000 events across the UK and in 22 countries. Every October museums, galleries,heritage sites, libraries, community and shopping centres, schools and parks invite people of all ages to discover how drawing can connect them with their surroundings and their wider community.


16 school workshops
25 public workshops
2000+ participants
219 school children took part
4500 drawings produced

School Workshops

The workshops, orgnaised by Open City, invited children from schools in the City and the City fringe to think about, draw and enjoy some of the Square Mile’s most iconic buildings and public spaces. They were led by artists whose work focuses on the cityscape, drawing and model-making.

Workshop locations: 30 St Mary Axe public space, Fen Court, Heron Tower, Leadenhall Market, Lime Street, Lloyd’s of London, St Helen’s Church, and Churchyard St Helen’s Square


6 participating schools
49 school workshops held
219 children aged 5 to 17
1500 drawings produced

"I think the workshops conducted with local schools have allowed these young people to get to know their own city more intimately and I hope this awareness will inspire pride but also a sense of ownership and responsibility."

Joanna Pencakowski, Architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners



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